By Brian Brus
Courtesy of The Journal Record
OKLAHOMA CITY – Rapid advances in chemical technologies have created a niche market need for companies such as Oklahoma City-based Drik LLC, founder and Chief Executive Kumar Sripathirathan said.
The toxic impacts of less than one-tenth of the tens of thousands of regulated chemicals in the market are clearly known, Sripathirathan said. So the earlier that a company can determine drug potentials, the better it will be positioned to prioritize resource allocation to deliver treatments for disease. Such companies are the core of Drik’s consultancy business, as it caters to a wide range of interests involved in not only pharmaceuticals, but also consumer products such as cosmetics.
Drik offers slice culture testing, which Sripathirathan said is superior to the cell culture testing that many toxicology labs elsewhere perform. In addition to the slice cultures being more accurate, they also last longer, remaining viable for more than a month instead of the days-long life span of cell cultures. The company also provides customized, cost-effective studies that produce results quickly, appropriate for the Environmental Protection Agency’s Good Laboratory Practice standards.
As the biotech industry looks to cut costs, lean business models are needed to provide value-enhanced services with reduced overhead costs, Sripathirathan said. Drik is a good example of a symbiotic business partner, paring the time and money typically necessary for toxicology audits.
“We work with some of the strongest talents in the state, which enhances our work,” Sripathirathan said. He added that his company works with as many reliable, local vendors as possible who help reduce costs and increase economic vitality in the state.
Drik, the state’s first commercial toxicology lab, is housed at the Presbyterian Health Foundation incubator in Oklahoma City. The company is well-funded, he said, and enjoys its relationships with other companies at the incubator.
“It makes things easier for one-on-one work,” he said.
Sripathirathan said the company has identified several companies, university research centers and other agencies in neighboring states that are likely candidates for Drik’s toxicology services, and is actively reaching out to them for growth.